Hotel Casa Blanca

by C. Liam Brown

A tall, thin man stepped out of the Mexican jungle onto a winding dirt road. As he stood blinking into the sun, a light breeze swept by, bringing with it the faint smell of grilled fish. The air moved over the damp skin on his face, and he swayed slightly, intoxicated by the sensation. For two days, he'd smelled nothing but dusty, rotting plants and his own stale clothes. He looked down and numbly tried to remove some of the dirt and burrs from his jeans and grey t-shirt, but was interrupted when the rumble of a truck's motor echoed from around the corner.

The sound shocked him into alertness. He stumbled a few steps back into the brush and crouched there. After a moment, a white pick-up came into view around a bend in the road. It was driven by a fat man with dark hair plastered to his head, who hunched over the wheel and squinted at the holes in the road. Three men lounged in the bed of the truck wearing ball caps and mauve uniforms.

As the tall man hid in the trees and watched the truck, he fingered the wooden handle of a switchblade in his pocket. He felt something land on his neck and begin crawling down towards his shirt. He lowered his chin and shook his shoulders, and it flew away. The man quickly looked back up at the truck, but it had passed him by, and none of its passengers seemed to have seen him. He watched as it trundled out of sight, then waited another few moments to make sure no other cars would come. He heard nothing but the buzz of the jungle, wind brushing the wide palm leaves high above him, and banda music coming from somewhere in the distance. He stood up and walked gingerly back out onto the road.

***

In this novel, a man with a troubled past arrives in a small, secluded town in Mexico and tries to make a home for himself. He soon finds out that everything he's running from has caught up to him, bringing danger and mystery with it.

Hotel Casa Blanca is my first novel. It has never been published. Please contact me if you're interested in reading it.